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Vancouver Chef Labour Shortage?


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^ I read that article too. Rob Feenie did stress how there are many chefs who arn't trained but work from the bottom up and do brilliantly. I also noticed another article on Tase of Yaletown. Wow 2 articles about food in the same daily paper :)

Im amazed there is such a labour shortage. The metro article didn't seem to advertise outside of mentioning that Feenie went to AI/Dubrelle.

"There are two things every chef needs in the kitchen: fish sauce and duck fat" - Tony Minichiello

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My coworker and I were discussing this article. The servers gets paid a higher starting wage than the bakers. The bakers are required to have studied their vocation before being hired. The server just has to have a nice smile and customer service skills. The bakers put in a sweaty, back-breaking 8 hour shift. I like this job but, come on, where's the fairness?

I'm planning to quite baking and continue with my second job, customer service, because it pays way more, the hours are more flexible, I have more autonomy, and I'm treated with civility by my bosses and coworkers.

The mentality that we have to work like a dog and be treated like an idiot in this field baffles me. And on top of that, we get paid very little.

Is that one reason why there is a shortage?

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Well, depends very much on the restaurant Id say. I have seen some restaurants where first and second cook get 20+/hr. But that may be a rarer case - I'm sure it hovers around at least 10-20 for most. And it's not like back of house doesn't get tipped out, either. If you're earning minimum wage for a kitchen position, then perhaps maybe you should come out from under your rock.

And heck, it's the food industry, and it's been that way for the past 50 years. There isn't magic to any of the kitchen workers, much of it is what it is - labour - and to think that the kitchen may deserve better pay than many other undesirable jobs as well may be very well unfounded.

Sure, you can increase the tip out and redistribute out server tips and bitch some more about front of house inequities.. but do so and you'll be facing a shortage or high turnover in the front of house as well. It isn't fair, but that's life depending on how you look at it. Businesses have to stay competitive. The front of house is not a glamour job either - it takes tolerance and skill to deal with certain customers and communicating to the kitchen.

Vancouver is facing a shortage of labour in general. It just feels that the kitchen is particularly hit because everyone is just running for construction jobs which have better pay for entry level labour.

And in any case, if kitchen staff were so proned to, perhaps they could apply for front of house as well. I mean if kitchen workers want to work at the front so badly, then they have all the means to attempt to try and do so.

Edited by kontemporary (log)

One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.

Virginia Woolf

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Thanks kontemporary. I wonder what Virginia Woolf would make of the shortage in the kitchen, not construction she probably had little experience in that field (would of brought a speedier demise i would imagine- all that heavy machinery).

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